As the importance of application quality increases, average spending on quality assurance as a %age of the total IT budget, has grown from 18% in 2012 to 23% in 2013. Still, many organizations struggle to demonstrate to the wider business the true value of their testing function.
These are the findings reported in the fifth ‘World Quality Report’ by consulting and technology provider, Capgemini, and Sogeti, its local professional services division. The report, published in conjunction with HP, reveals that application Testing and Quality Assurance (QA) now accounts for almost a quarter of IT spend, as many organizations undergo the process of digital transformation and reliable software applications become increasingly critical to their operations and reputation.
Despite mobile being a primary channel of engagement for both employees and customers, almost half (45%) are still not adequately validating the functionality, performance and security of mobile applications and devices.
Although the report highlights a rapid rise in mobile testing (from 31 % in 2012 to 55 % in 2013), over half of those surveyed (56 %) cite a lack of specialized methods as the biggest barrier to mobile testing, and an additional 48 % report that they still lack mobile testing experts.
With organizations increasingly reliant on IT systems and applications to support their core business functions without interruption, many are now taking a more strategic, centralized and business-led approach to QA. Compared to 8 % in 2012, this year, over a quarter (26 %) of those surveyed have consolidated their QA function across projects, lines of business or the whole company.
Nearly one in five (19 %) reported having a fully operational Testing Center of Excellence (TCOE) in place to serve the needs of the business, up from just 6 % last year, as testing becomes a much more industrialized process within organizations. In addition, the report highlights growing demand for business and domain knowledge among testers, with nearly two thirds (63 %) of executives surveyed saying that an understanding of the business is an important capability in their testers as QA functions seek to align more with strategic business priorities.
“The findings from this year’s research have again highlighted the growing strategic importance of Testing and Quality Assurance, along with the critical contribution it makes to ensuring operational business targets are achieved and customer expectations are met,” said Michel de Meijer, Leader Global Service Line Testing Capgemini & Sogeti. “Increasingly, technology applications provide the main interface between businesses and their customers – often delivered across multiple channels and devices, with end-users becoming less and less tolerant of functional errors, poor performance or known security vulnerabilities.”
As QA continues to rise in strategic importance for many organizations, this year’s study highlights how some businesses are pioneering the value QA brings to business as part of a more strategic approach, capturing metrics related to wider business ROI, such as the contribution of QA to reduced time to market (45 %) or cost savings by preventing defects (39 %).
However, many organizations still do not demonstrate the business value of QA to the wider business, as they still mainly capture and report operational information such as the number of defects found (73 %) or cost per test case (55 %). Additionally, 45 % of those surveyed are involving testing leads too late in the delivery process to influence application quality beyond just finding and fixing defects.
For those organizations struggling to improve the maturity of their in-house QA function, the outsourced Managed Testing Services (MTS) model is an emerging option, with 12 % turning to MTS providers to bring not just labour, but specialized knowledge of testing processes and a full array of tools to test with maximum efficiency to demonstrate ROI effectively.
For example, when it comes to outsourcing their mobile application testing, the capacity to test across a wide range of platforms and devices is rated as the most important capability (60 %), reflecting the need to ensure coverage across a broad variety of environments which many internal QA functions cannot deliver.
“With the research findings showing that almost a quarter of IT budgets are now being allocated to Testing and QA activities, measuring the ROI to the business based on financial as well as IT operational metrics is becoming ever more important,” said Matt Morgan, vice president, Product Marketing, Software, HP. “For organizations to take a more strategic approach to testing and QA, they need to have better visibility and reporting to illustrate both operational and business information value.”
Download Full Copy of World Quality Report 2013-14: www.worldqualityreport.com
Watch HP Webinar “Emerging Trends in Testing: Conclusions from the World Quality Report 2013-14”- October 2, 1 p.m. ET.
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